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Garcetti to give first State of the City speech tonight


Mayor Eric Garcetti will deliver his first State of the City speech tonight, offering a preview of how Los Angeles will deal will projected $242 million budget deficit and laying out his spending priorities for the next fiscal year. (Listen at at 5pm).
His speech comes one day after the release of a report that makes a number of recommendations for improving what its authors …

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Officers faulted for shooting during Dorner manhunt


More than half a dozen LAPD officers who mistakenly shot at two women delivering newspapers during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner are facing discipline that could range from a slap on the wrist to dismissal. The department’s oversight panel says the officers violated LAPD policy when they collectively fired their weapons more than 100 times. One of the women was shot twice in the …

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Serial scammer Barry Minkow fleeced his own flock


One of Southern California’s most notorious fraudsters has been convicted again, this time for stealing $3 million from a San Diego church congregation where he served as a pastor. Barry Minkow – who’s already serving time in a federal lockup for securities fraud – is facing five years in prison in the church case. Minkow achieved fame as a teenager in the 1980s when …

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Nichols exits but mystery of DWP non-profits persists


City leaders hope the departure of General Manager Ron Nichols will help them solve the mystery of how $40 million in ratepayer funds was spent by two Department of Water and Power trusts created to improve labor relations. Nichols led one of trusts, and DWP union chief Brian D’Arcy heads the other. City officials have been stonewalled in their efforts to get information about …

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Brown’s budget reflects improving California economy


Governor Jerry Brown is unveiling a budget proposal this morning that reflects California’s improving fiscal picture, with more money targeted for schools healthcare and social services. The governor also wants to increase the pace of paying down the state’s debt and stash money away in a rainy day fund. Brown’s $155 billion blueprint would increase general fund spending by eight percent, repay $11 billion …

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Family finds new facilty for teen declared brain dead


A 13-year-old Bay Area girl who was declared dead after suffering cardiac arrest during a tonsillectomy has been moved from Children’s Hospital Oakland. But Jahi McMath’s family won’t say where she’s been taken because of concerns about her safety. The family’s lawyer says they’ve received hundreds of threatening emails from people angered by the fight to keep the teenager on life support. Children’s Hospital …

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Today’s News: Alarms sounded over Prop. 8 decision; Extreme heat roasts Southland; Garcetti inauguration

Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John G. Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Smauel Alito Jr., Elena Kagan

Prop. 8 fallout. Gay rights supporters rejoiced over this week’s Supreme Court decision that will allow same-sex marriage to resume in California – but now activists on both sides of the ideological divide are raising concerns about the decision. The worry is that the court set a dangerous precedent by giving elected officials undue power over ballot initiatives.
The Supreme Court decided the Prop. 8 …

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Today’s News: Marching for peace in Santa Monica; Brown pores over budget numbers; Bruce Lee tribute

smc mourners

Peace Walk. Some Santa Monica residents took to the streets last night to call for peace and healing in the wake of a series of shootings in the Westside city. The demonstrators retraced the path taken by John Zawahri, the young gunman who killed five people before being shot to death by police at Santa Monica College.
The Peace Walk was organized by the Pico …

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Today’s News: No motive in gunman’s ‘farewell’ note; On-time budget; California snowfall decline expected


Killer’s goodbye. The man responsible for last Friday’s deadly shooting rampage in Santa Monica carried a note saying he was sorry for his actions. But investigators still aren’t sure what motivated John Zawahri to kill five people before he was shot to death by police.
Zawahri’s four-page, hand-written note was found on his body after he was killed on the Santa Monica College campus. Police …

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Today’s News: Mix of joy, sadness at SMC graduation; L.A. courts shedding 500 jobs; Foster care agency fired


Somber graduation. Hundreds of students walked across the stage to accept their diplomas at Santa Monica College yesterday evening, but it was anything but a typical graduation ceremony.
Present behind the joy and sense of accomplishment was a strong undercurrent of sorrow for those who lost their lives Friday when a gunman killed three people on campus during a wild shooting spree. The graduation took …

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SMC graduation to double as memorial; Governor prevails in budget battle; Killer gets ‘death’


Mourning. College graduation is a joyous event. But today’s ceremony at Santa Monica College will be tinged with sadness as the commencement doubles as a memorial to victims of last Friday’s shooting rampage.
A vigil was held on the campus last night. Shortly before 6 pm, people began assembling outside the college library. That’s where the shooter, John Zawahri, ended his killing spree. A makeshift …

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UCLA Anderson Forecast finds US recovery lagging

The UCLA Anderson School of Management.

A UCLA economic forecast out today predicts California will see some income growth over the next two years, despite a national recovery the authors of the report call “bad.”
The new UCLA Anderson Forecast says the strength of California’s economy lies in technology and knowledge-based industries, although construction has also rebounded in coastal markets.
But the report casts doubt on whether the economy – statewide or nationally …

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Today’s News: Delta water plan gets more expensive; Boy Scouts tax status challenged; Revenue rebound


Water works. A controversial plan to restore habitat and overhaul California’s water system will cost a half a billion dollars more than originally estimated. The price tag of Governor’s Brown Bay Delta Conservation Plan is now almost $25 billion.
Brown’s plan calls for two enormous concrete tunnels that would carry water 35 miles from the San Joaquin River Delta to pumps near the town of …

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Today’s News: California unveils Obamacare coverage; Leimert Park gets light rail station; Clean(er) beaches


Obamacare. California has taken a big step toward compliance with Obamacare. The state’s new health insurance exchange has announced the plans – and the prices – that will be offered to those seeking individual insurance policies under the federal healthcare law.
As many as five million uninsured Californians are expected to seek coverage when Obamacare takes effect next year. The exchange will begin enrolling customers …

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Today’s News: Schools get a boost in Brown’s budget; LAUSD moves to cut suspensions; USC feels the music


Governor’s budget. Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal includes more money for schools, and less money for just about everything else. Even with state revenues surging, Brown’s revised budget trims $1.3 billion from the plan he presented in January.
Brown says there’s no guarantee the surge in tax revenue will last. And he says California’s finances remain unstable because of the federal sequester budget cuts …

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Today’s News: School Board could curb suspensions


Dealing with defiance. The L.A. Board of Education is due to vote tomorrow on a landmark resolution that would ban suspensions for what’s called “willful defiance.” The move comes amid a growing belief in some quarters that suspending students for disruptive behavior is counterproductive.
“Willful defiance” can involve anything from cursing at a teacher to incessant talking or failing to wear a school uniform. The …

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Today’s News: L.A. looks into Nevada patient dumping; Villaraigosa lays out final budget: Universal expansion


Patient dumping. L.A. is investigating allegations that Nevada’s main psychiatric hospital has been busing indigent patients to California cities. L.A. County mental health officials say no patients from Nevada have been identified so far. But they plan to take a closer look. The Sacramento Bee has reported that more than 200 patients released from the Nevada facility were given one-way bus tickets to L.A. …

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Today’s News: Boston bombings have L.A. on guard; No red ink in proposed county budget; Plastic bag ban


Vigilance. Like cities from Washington, D.C., to London, Los Angeles is on high alert in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Both the LAPD and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department have opened emergency operation centers. From LAX and the ports to Dodger Stadium and Union Station, Southlanders can expect a heavy police presence today. Law enforcement officials say there’s no indication that Los …

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Today’s News: Perry gives support to Garcetti; New gig for Fabian Nunez; Heat is on fire rings


Perry’s pick. Jan Perry is expected to announce today that she’s endorsing Eric Garcetti for mayor. The two have been colleagues on the city council for a dozen years. Perry finished fourth in the March 5th mayoral primary election, drawing about 16 percent of the vote. She was the overwhelming favorite in the city’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods. L.A. Times
Budget bunch. Former U.S. Commerce Secretary …

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Today’s News: New jail for new jails chief?; Courts shuttered; Tough road for UCLA


Jails boss. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has a new jails chief. Assistant Sheriff for Custody Terri McDonald will run the largest jail system in the country. McDonald’s appointment follows the departure of controversial Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. Meanwhile, Sheriff Lee Baca says Los Angeles needs a more modern jail facility for the safety of inmates and jailers alike. Baca will ask the L.A. Board …

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